And now, I'd like to turn the time over to Elder Pearce to answer mom's questions:
So as far as investigators go, we have a ton. We got two more new investigators this week. One is an older gentleman named Arturo. He is actually a reference of another investigator, Isabel, who's husband is the doctor. Arturo is very intellectual and loves to read. He told us that he was looking to add a more spiritual element in his life. We told him about our purpose as missionaries and about the Book of Mormon. He told us he used to have one but lost it. Luckily, I had an extra one to give away. When I gave it to him his eyes lit up and he held it with such care, and turned the pages with an almost reverent touch. Then he hugged it in his arms and thanked us. He told us he would read it so that we could talk about it next week. He's going to progress well.
Another investigator we have is a 22 or so year old guy named Rody. Rody is a street contact that Elder Johanson made with his previous companion. He lives next to a less active that they had been teaching (who is also progressing). One day there was a small earthquake (not really though. Peruvians make a big deal out of EVERYTHING). Elder Johanson and his companion were looking for the other guy when they bumped into Rody. He told them that he had just thought of God for the first time in two years, then there was an earthquake, and the missionaries showed up. Pretty cool, He's very intellectual as well. He's a university student and is super smart. With some people this could be hard because intellectuals challenge everything, and that's kind of how he was at first. But slowly his heart has been softened, and now he uses his intellect to find reasons why the church is true. Yesterday at church he told me he'd looked up how many LDS churches there were in the world, and he was amazed at the number. He told me that's how he knew this was true, because the work is progressing and has been for hundreds of years now. When we taught him the law of tithing he said it wasn't something he wanted to do, so he was going to pray for the faith to do it. It's amazing when you can see changes in these very special people.
As for transport, we take taxis almost daily. At least when we go down to the actual city of Andahuaylas. Our sector is called San Jeronimo. It's a small town (a little farther into the boonies) outside of Andahuaylas. So when we work in San Jeronimo we walk everywhere. There are some GIANT hills that we walk up. Our sector goes part way into Andahuaylas though, so when we go there we take a taxi or what's called a Convi. It's just a giant van that functions as a taxi that you can cram about 500 people in if you want. And they do. They're both super cheap and fun.
The food is really good for the most part, and I eat a LOT. There really aren't that many weird dishes. I can even buy ketchup here! And Twix! Usually for meals we just eat rice and chicken and potatoes. Every meal. Rice. Chicken. Potatoes. I've seen some pretty creative ways to throw potatoes into a meal. I actually really like cuy, or guinea pig. It's like KFC. I really don't like mozomora, which is like hot jello made out of purple corn. They also make drinks out of purple corn that aren't fantastic but it's doable. The worst thing I've ever had here is a drink called Leche Puro. It's just milk STRAIGHT from the cow. And I mean STRAIGHT. Unpasteurized, untreated. It tastes exactly like bum. It's usually served hot. Other than that I haven't eaten very many weird things. Lot's of fried stuff, like potatoes. The desserts are always good. I miss fast food and mom's rolls. I'm in a pretty good area as far as food goes, and really everything else. It's a great area. I hope I get to stay a little longer after my training.
So Halloween STUNK. Everyone here thinks that Halloween is Satan's birthday, and all the other churches discourage people from celebrating it. The Catholics all dress up like angels for some reason. Elder Johanson and I went and bought a bunch of candy and soda and a pineapple after proselyting hours and ate it. Next morning, felt fantastic.
My Spanish is improving so that's cool. I've learned a few quechua phrases too. Other than that I'm doing good. Just trying to work hard. The harder I work the better I feel. I love you all. The church is true. Munanquiki!